Reilly's Summer Seat Farm & Garden Center
1120 Roosevelt Road    Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Reilly's Garden Center at Summer Seat Farm

Garden Topics:
Deer Proof Your Garden

If deer are eating what you set out in the garden, change the menu.

It may seem unlikely, but deer do have dietary preferences. We know that if deer are hungry enough, they will eat just about anything. So although there are no guarantees, but by filling your garden with distasteful plants, there is a good chance deer will go elsewhere for their midnight snack.

Deer Resistant PlantsThe simple, attractive combination (pictured above) of boxwood, Allium, iris, Japanese maple, and garden rue—all seldom damaged by deer—will grow unmolested in a suburban landscape. Here are several others you should try:

BULBS: Allium, Camassia, crocus, daffodil, dahlia, freesia, grape hyacinth, hyacinth, scilla, snowdrop, and Siberian squill.

ANNUALS: Begonia, cleome, dusty miller, geranium (scented and zonal), lobelia, marigold, nasturtium, periwinkle, snapdragon, sweet alyssum, verbena and zinnia.

 Thorny, hairy, and strongly scented plants tend to be unpalatable to deer, (sorry, they do like most roses). Here are some recommendations of plants that deer tend to dislike.

SUN PERENNIALS: Aster, butterfly weed, catmint, coneflower, creeping phlox, dianthus, gloriosa daisy, goldenrod, hellebore, lamb's ears, lavender, ornamental grasses, Pennisetum, Penstemon, poppy, Potentilla, rosemary, Russian sage, St. John's wort, sage, salvia, thyme, veronica, and yarrow.

SHADE PERENNIALS: Anemone, astilbe, bleeding heart, columbine, ferns, Tiarella, foxglove, Ladys’ Mantle, lily-of-the-valley, Virginia Bluebells.

SHRUBS AND TREES: Bamboo, barberry, blue spruce, bottlebrush, boxwood, butterfly bush, Clethra, cotoneaster,  deutzia, dogwood, forsythia, Itea,  Japanese maple, juniper, lilac, magnolia, mock orange, Rose of Sharon, red maple, rugosa rose, serviceberry, smoke tree, snowberry, spirea, sumac, tea tree, viburnum, winterberry holly, witchazel, and yucca.

VINES: Bougainvillea, jasmine, Japanese honeysuckle, morning glory, potato vine, and wisteria.

OTHER CONTROL POSSIBILITIES: Fences work if they are specifically designed for deer control. Low cost electric farm animal fencing is an alternative. Repellents (like Liquid Fence) work quite well in preventing browsing, but they must be reapplied monthly. Dogs that live outdoors are outstanding in keeping deer away.

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